Pembrokeshire Housing Association recently initiated a move to fit Aico AudioLINK carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in all of its properties in west Wales.
Pembrokeshire Housing is an independent, not for profit industrial and provident society and is Pembrokeshire’s local housing association. Since it was established in 1981 it has achieved consistent growth and now provides over 2,300 homes.
The decision to fit CO alarms into its properties was based on the desire to provide the very best safety measures for all residents, says maintenance manager Antony James: “We place the safety of our customers above and beyond the statutory landlords’ responsibilities under the gas safety regulations and see the use of CO alarms as a positive move regarding gas safety management.”
The alarm selection process was conducted by Mr James with colleagues from property services and procurement. The decision to go with Aico Ei208 CO alarms was based on the positive experience they have had using Aico’s smoke alarms in the same properties.
Aico’s Ei208 CO alarm is a quality, cost-effective unit designed with a sealed-in lithium battery, which overcomes the potential problem of battery removal by the resident. It has recently been upgraded to a 10-year life and to incorporate Aico’s revolutionary new AudioLINK data extraction technology. AudioLINK allows for invaluable real-time data to be extracted via the alarm’s sounder – all you need is an AudioLINK-enabled CO alarm, a tablet or smartphone and the free AudioLINK app. The data is converted into an alarm status report, which is simple to review and store. The report displays useful information about the alarm and detection levels of CO, and can be emailed or stored in a key location for future reference.
For Pembrokeshire Housing Association, AudioLINK was a key attraction, Mr James says: “It has the potential to save time and resources as it can rule out false alarms, other alarms sounding, battery depletion, unit faults and so on from CO incidents. The process for measuring and investigating ambient CO in domestic properties can be very time consuming.”
Mr James finds the reports generated by AudioLINK particularly useful: “The background CO report is great for identifying a defective cooker grill fret that is slowly getting worse, while the alarm-removed report is useful in assessing if you have the full picture of CO incidents. Multiple removals would prompt a full safety check.”
The work of installing the CO alarms will be carried out by Pembrokeshire Housing’s direct labour services team, which consists of maintenance workers, electricians, kitchen fitters and Gas Safe/OFTEC-registered heating engineers. The majority of the CO alarms will be fitted at the same time as the annual landlord’s gas safety check and during the planned replacement of boilers. The number of CO alarms per property and their location will be based on the appliances within each property.
“For example, if we have a boiler in a kitchen and a fire in a lounge then we would fit two – one in the lounge and one in the kitchen,” explains Mr James. “We had looked at fitting the alarms on a risk basis, but decided that could be complicated and wanted to provide some protection regarding tenant-owned appliances that fall outside the landlord’s responsibilities.”
Director of housing Elin Brock oversees Pembrokeshire Housing’s gas safety programme and welcomes the fitting of the CO alarms. She is keen to stress that the alarms will supplement – but never replace – the excellent servicing and maintenance programmes for fuel-burning appliances at the association, which has been able to report 100% gas compliance every quarter for the past five years. Fitting CO alarms is just another gas safety measure for Pembrokeshire Housing, which is used to putting its efforts and resources into gas safety and the safety of its customers.
A wholly owned subsidiary of Ei Electronics, Aico is a market leader in residential fire and CO protection in the UK. All alarms are designed and built in Ireland specifically to meet UK standards and regulations. This year also sees Aico’s 25th anniversary. With more mains-powered domestic smoke alarms installed in the UK’s social housing than any other manufacturer, Aico is tried, tested and trusted. It has a dedicated team of regional managers to support specifications and supply of products, and also offers technical support over the phone as well as an internal sales team to help with any enquiries.
For more information please visit aico.co.uk.